AIG and the “Three Stooges”
By Robert Amoroso
With profound apologies to Moe, Larry and Curly who for generations brought smiles to millions of fans around the world, with their zany slapstick humor that now seems to be the standard incorporated within the Obama inner circle…only this time we’re not laughing.
Watching President Obama, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Senator Chris Dodd’s performance on the AIG debacle, one couldn’t help but think back to those three loveable bungling buffoons, slapping each other silly as they performed one prat-fall and comedy routine after another.
First it was Secretary Geithnere; you know the guy who forgot to pay his income taxes that now heads up the IRS. You know the one that looks like a deer caught in the head lights of an on- rushing auto. Then there’s President Obama’s, (Mr. Cool), strolling towards reporters and trying to explain the bonus bonanza, given to AIG. His usual forceful demeanor suddenly giving way to a reporters tough questions, as he fluttered trying to explain what went wrong; and assuring the media (and perhaps himself) that he was on top of the crisis, and then praising Geithner, suggesting that he was the best Treasury Secretary, ever…quite an endorsement for a guy who seems to be in a coma for the last month.
And then there’s Senator Dodd, you remember him? He’s the one that was given that special VIP deal from Countrywide mortgage, you know the one he didn’t know about, until it was reported in the media, and concededly received (along with President Obama), big buck contributions from AIG.
Well, it seems that Senator Dodd is the one who inserted in the original prevision allowing AIG employees to receive those massive bonuses. Of course when he was first questioned about it, he denied it then a day later admitted it; however he blamed someone in Treasury for changing his original wording…I wonder who that someone in Treasury could be?
Can you see Larry slapping Moe just about now, and Curly poking Larry in the eye? Of course this act still needs lots and lots of work, and I’m not sure exactly which character President Obama should be playing, either Larry or perhaps Moe.
Anyway, it seems they’re taking this show on the road to see how it plays in Middle America, back to where it all began…to those town hall meetings. Perhaps Obama should ask Oprah and Caroline to join him, you know a little star power, and don’t forget Henrietta Hughes, for that inspirational moment, that is sure to come. I keep thinking of Vince McMann, the chairman of the WWE, perhaps to add a little credibility to the show.
All kidding aside, obviously the administration did not perform its due-diligence on AIG before handing out hundreds of billions of dollars of tax payer money. Astoundingly, Tim Geithner was the president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and in that capacity he was responsible for overseeing investment banks and was personally involved in the AIG bailout, and now the administration is upset, as is this congress, that millions of dollars of tax payer money was paid out in bonuses, and while the anger is justified among the populace, it is misdirected.
The true culprit is the congress and of course the “Three Stooges” of this administration that simply didn’t do their job in overseeing the company’s financial obligations of which the bonuses were a part of, these were legitimate contracts between a private corporation and its employees. The administration, specifically Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner knew of the bonus previsions before the bailout funds were dolled out. He along with Senator Dodd worked out the specific verbiage, and he was even asked about it, only weeks ago in open hearings before congress.
Those contracts along with whatever financial obligations should have been reviewed and renegotiated and or eliminated as a stipulation for receiving the bailout funds.
Rather then fess-up immediately, both Dodd and Geithner, played the “what me” game, and pointed fingers at one another. Of course not to be out done those concerned politicians on Capital Hill, joined in this “comedy of errors” and did what they do best…blame someone else. They would rather divert the true nature of what is really going on, and what better way then to hold phony hearings as they did last week, and of course play to the cameras, and show their selected outrage, by announcing that they want to penalize private citizens by using the tax code as a weapon, to get the bonus money back, by passing a resolution to tax 90% of money.
Obviously, this punitive action by lawmakers is both illegal and unconstitutional. It’s alarming to think that the principles of a free and open society can be manipulated and compromised by a vengeful government and an inept administration, willing to go to any length, even breaking the law and usurping the constitution, to divert attention away from themselves…our founding fathers knew well the cost of freedom, that we now take for granted. Perhaps Moe, Larry and Curly should reacquaint themselves once again, with the Constitution.
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not”…Thomas Jefferson